Christmas is the time of the year when families get together and get along. It is also a time when at least one of your relatives thinks your Celiac is a “personal choice”, not a disease so they can cut corners on your cross contamination concerns. What’s a little barley in a chocolate bar going to do? Why can’t she have some steal cut oatmeal?
When it comes to food, Celiac is a problem that even close friends and family don’t always understand so I don’t get too upset. I get a bit frustrated but I try not to keep bright.
Today is Christmas day and I was given lots of great things that I appreciate. But I also received some things that literally said CONTAINS GLUTEN. My grand parents are the sweetest people in the world and they really do worry about my Celiac. However, they miss notices like MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF GLUTEN (which is code for this product does not have gluten in the ingredients but was made a in a factory with gluten’y stuff). My body is just too sensitive to risk it, so I just smiled and gave it to my sister when no-one was looking… again.
So how can you handle this? There really are two ways:
- Ignore / Lie: Just be gracious, say thank you, smile and give it away
- Tell Them: Politely say, ‘thanks but I found a gluten reference so I had to give it away’
In my case I usually do both. I start with a “gee thanks” and then a little while later “hey, look at that, it says contains Wheat and Barley”. This usually keeps everyone happy while reminding people that I can’t cheat… ’cause I don’t like cancer 🙂